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View Full Version : I got a 12-string for my Birthday!



Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-10-2006, 11:31pm
i got this today, made in Portland, Maine. probably around the turn of the century. anyone know anything about em?

Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-10-2006, 11:33pm
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Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-10-2006, 11:34pm
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Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-10-2006, 11:35pm
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Feb-10-2006, 11:36pm
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Feb-10-2006, 11:37pm
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Feb-10-2006, 11:38pm
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Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-10-2006, 11:39pm
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Jim Garber
Feb-10-2006, 11:55pm
Wow, you got me on that one. At first I thought it looked like a Bruno but I am not sure. That tailpiece is nice HC or CH or something like that.

I would keep the strings light on that one. Maybe even for fun string the lower courses with octave strings. Or just string it with 8 strings. Does it play all right as is?

Jim

Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-11-2006, 12:00am
yeah, it plays real nice, its really loud, not sure what strings are on it, but they seem pretty light. my mom had it set up before she gave it to me.

yeah, i think the tailpiece says CH, but mostly because my last name is Collins-Hill http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

thanks,
Baron

Bob DeVellis
Feb-11-2006, 9:29am
The tailpiece looks like it has a C, H and I on it. The letter shapes remind me a bit of the Elias Howe Company logo but they're different enough to not be identical. Maybe the same source supplied their inlayed pickguards and the tailpiece on this one. I don't thing the Elias Howe Co. ever had a model named "Portland," but anything is possible. There were scads of bowlback manufacturers around and even more resellers. Instruments were often purchased from European manufacturers and then re-badged by American companies. (E. H. Co. did that with several of their bowlback lines.) Of course, many were made in the US as well. Lyon & Healy, for example, cranked out a whole bunch. Get some of the folks in the Classical section working on this by cross-posting there and some good info should turn up.

Martin Jonas
Feb-11-2006, 9:40am
As far as the 12-string is concerned: these were quite common around 1900, especially in Germany (where they were called "mandriola"), in a largely futile attempt to increase volume. Having three unison strings makes fretting more difficult and greatly increases the already considerable potential for being out of tune, so the concept died out eventually. The usual advice for these is, as Jim has already suggested, to restring as an 8-string. You may need to recut the nut and/or bridge slots to do so, but you get a wider fretboard (no bad thing) and additional structural strength because the instrument was build for more tension than a normal bowlback (no bad thing either).

Martin

mandoman15
Feb-11-2006, 9:46am
PhishPhan,
Can say dueling bowlbacks on Sedi Donka?

Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-11-2006, 10:25am
i posted this in other threads, but this is what the label reads...

C.C.
Hawes, Jr.
431 Congress St.
PORTLAND,
Me

Jim Garber
Feb-11-2006, 6:52pm
Hawes is not on any list i know of. Interesting.

JIm

Dfyngravity
Feb-11-2006, 6:54pm
great lookin 12 string there....although it might drive me crazy with tuning it. I have trouble sometimes getting two strings in tune together.

Baron Collins-Hill
Feb-11-2006, 9:52pm
yeah, its pretty hard to tune,im also thinking i may not keep it. my mom got it from someone in town on the grounds that she could give it back if it wasnt right. the backs got quite a few cracks, missing filling between flutes, and a rather nasty crack at the butt. i also cannot get thin intonation right, or if i did it would require putting the bridge on the slanted part of the top. the tuners are also quite slippy and sont slip together.

thanks,
Baron

Jim Garber
Feb-11-2006, 10:13pm
You may be correct to return it. There are quite a few nice bowlbacks out there and if you really want one there may be better esp better than the 12 string ones.

Jim

mandroid
Feb-11-2006, 10:18pm
Honkytonk piano is a tuning variation situation where 3 strings are not quite right, but they all get struck by the note hammer anyway.
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